Lower Rio Grande dry; NM in throes of major drought

2013-04-24T14:33:00Z 2013-04-24T15:04:27Z Lower Rio Grande dry; NM in throes of major droughtTony Davis Arizona Daily Star
April 24, 2013 2:33 pm  • 

This A.P. article portrays Arizona's neighbor to the east as being in a major drought situation. With the Lower Rio Grande a sandy wash, farmers are digging deeper for water and a Hatch restaurant is charging for a glass of water. Outdoor watering restrictions have been imposed in Albuquerque, a city that nearly 30 years ago was portrayed by its leaders as having a vast underground lake the size of Lake Superior.

Here is an excerpt:

Across the eastern plains, the story is the same. Wells that provide drinking water are going dry, ranchers have been forced to sell off cattle, hay prices have skyrocketed, and reservoirs have reached record low levels — leaving little surface water for downstream users.

"We are really facing some extraordinary challenges," said Dennis McQuillan with the state Drinking Water Bureau. He pointed to residential wells outside of Santa Fe that are going dry and the potential for the city of Clovis to drain its aquifer in the next 20-40 years.

A New Mexico Rural Water Association official calls the drought "A slowly building disaster."

For those wondering if Arizona is next in line, this blog has no answers except to say that this state has a much bigger and more expensive water project in the Central Arizona Project than exists in New Mexico. Any shortages in the CAP are at least 3 years away, authorities have said, and they're not likely to affect urban areas until the late 2020s.

 

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

About this blog

Star reporter Tony Davis covers topics in this blog that you have read under his byline for more than 30 years in the Southwest: water, growth, sprawl, pollution, climate change, endangered species, mining, grazing and traffic.

To reach Tony call 806-7746 (office) or 349-0350 (cell) or write him at tdavis@tucson.com.

Tony Davis tweeting from Morelos Dam

Most Popular

Most Popular

Deals, offers & events

View more...